Black History is American History: Four ways to celebrate all year long

By Thomas George, Building Kentucky

Black History Month affords all the opportunity to celebrate the achievements and the lives of so many African Americans who have helped to build and sustain America. It is a celebration not only for the stellar among us past and present but also for the simplistic. It is not a Black thing but a white thing, too, and a month for all races to coalesce and affirm Black beauty and ingenuity.

Looking for ways to celebrate? Try these:

Teach children

Guide your children to Black literature and sit with them and talk about America’s Black experience and your own personal experience in this realm. Teach tolerance, understanding and respect. Help prepare a new generation to be more cognizant and embracing of Black History Month. What a way to celebrate today! What a way to invest in tomorrow!

Visit museums

Visit a Black-oriented museum or any museum that has a Black-oriented experience. Find Black music, art, culture there that helps advance your understanding and appreciation of the African American journey. Cherish the richness of these elements.

Support Black-owned businesses

Visit a Black-owned restaurant, car wash, bakery or any Black-owned entity and help keep it alive. Help it grow from alive to flourishing. Help its owner realize one of the greatest American dreams possible – becoming a rock-solid entrepreneur.

Engage the elderly

Visit, sit and listen to the elderly tell you their stories of segregation and living through and beyond it. Lock in as they tell you about their Martin Luther King Jr. experience through their eyes, through their lives. Be amazed as they focus on the white leaders who took a stand, drew a line and joined the cause of equality. Delve in as they share their thoughts about the Black experience and America’s experience today. This is a magnificent way to celebrate Black History Month. Take the time with the elderly, our precious resource. Let their wisdom permeate. Their view of Black History Month and all it entails is layered and singular.

There is no blueprint on celebrating Black History Month. Do what moves you. Do what enlightens you. Coddle the experience. Respect it. Be inspired by it.

Black History is American History.

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